Signs of an Arizona Depression?

Chip Diller

Another scary story via Drudge Report asserting that the US is heading into a Depression. Yes, that’s right, not a recession but rather a depression.

The article states that the rising demand for food stamps is a good indication that things are rapidly heading downhill. According to the article, “Forty states are reporting increases in applications for the stamps, actually electronic cards that are filled automatically once a month by the government and are swiped by shoppers at the till, in the 12 months from December 2006. At least six states, including Florida, Arizona and Maryland, have had a 10 per cent increase in the past year.”

Although we’re not entirely privy to the backroom details, Sonoran Alliance would like to know just how bad things really are, especially in light of the Governor’s reaction to the State Treasurer, Dean Martin’s assertion that the State will run out of money within the next 30 days.

The Governor’s non-chalant attitude makes us wonder if there are details she would rather not reveal as she nears a potential exit to a national level post.

I’d hate to be Secretary of State Jan Brewer and inherit Napolitano’s crisis.

Rematch in Tempe

Tune in to Horizon tonight at 7:00 pm for a re-match between Arizona House of Representatives Director of Communications Barrett Marson and Arizona Democratic Party Director of Communications Emily Bittner.

It will be interesting to see if a public figure like Bittner has discover the downside to falsely casting aspersions on others for what they do in their lives outside of their official duties. Bittner loves to go on the attack but a few blog stories last weekend about public records on file with Maricopa County sent her lawyer into a public relations nightmare. The dust kicked up from the whole mess just put the story in the Republic on Sunday and the Yellow Sheet on Monday. We are all better when public figure stick to solutions for Arizona’s challenges.

As Executive Director of the Arizona Democratic Party Maria Weeg was quoted in the Republic on Sunday let’s not “bring this kind of personal stuff into the public sphere.” Good advice to anyone.

US to spend millions on border fence – In Egypt

One of the criticisms of the border fence along the US/Mexico border fence is that we cannot afford the cost. I think if the US has enough money to help build a fence in Egypt we should be able to finish securing our own border.

Vice President Napolitano?

Sonoran Alliance is making an effort to get back to our niche of reporting on politics specific to Arizona but here is a posting that covers both Presidential politics and the Arizona scene. (Thanks to EspressoPundit for the initial link.)

OpEdNews.com has an editorial suggesting that Governor Janet Napolitano is likely to be pulled to serve on an Obama ticket. Seems to make sense in terms of numbers and demographics. Arizona has 10 electoral votes surrounded by the states of Colorado and New Mexico, also with Democratic governors. It also throws a challenge directly to the home turf of Senator McCain who could even lose in his home state to a popular Democratic governor who was re-elected two years ago.

An Obama/Napolitano ticket for the Dems would also set off a seismic shift in Arizona politics as politicians seek to fill vacated seats either by Napolitano or McCain.

It certainly is an interesting speculation but I still believe that the Dems will heal things up by putting Hillary on the ticket.

Muslims Outnumber Catholics

Drudge Report has a link to a story claiming that members of Islam now outnumber members of the Catholic faith. The Vatican made the announcement in which is asserts that 19.2% of the world’s population is Muslim while 17.4% are Catholic. The Vatican also believes that if all Christians (Protestants, Anglicans, Orthodox were considered, the number would be about 33% of the world’s population.

But perhaps the most profound revelation was that, “while the number of Catholics as a proportion of the world’s population was fairly stable, the percentage of Muslims was growing because of higher birth rates.”

The debate over changing demographics and birth rates has actually been a topic of discussion for some time now among population gurus. In April, 2007, we featured a very interesting article titled, The Four Major Transformations, written by Herbert Meyer. Take some time to re-read and cast your thoughts on the topic.

Chicken Little can now go boating

In February we covered the Sky is Falling hysteria (Lakes are Drying Out version) over at a democrat’s lament. We have an update that Lake Powell is expected to RISE 50 feet because of  above average snow pack. Anyone who has been to the lake or can read a map will know that represents a lot of water.

Recharge of the Colorado River system will help insure a future supply of water for numerous other lakes along the river as well as the Central Arizona Project.

Funny how there seems to be a cycle of life, almost like an invisible hand working behind the scene. Dare we say a creator who provides?

Privacy in the Internet age

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Sonoran Alliance went with a story and soon a lawyer was calling us. The issue related to someone’s privacy or expectation there of.

Note to the world. If you do not want people to know where you live DO NOT BLOG about it on the website of the states largest newspaper! If you want to stay out of the public realm then maybe PUBLIC relations is not the career for you. One more point – If you would like to be treated with some respect then treat others that way.

A quote from the blog article linked above:

I’m squarely between two of my favorite places: Biltmore Fashion Park and Scottsdale Fashion Square.

You tell the world your name with a photo attached, your line of work, that you have just bought a house, and in what part of town and you expect privacy.

Pelosi in the valley this Saturday

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Madam Speaker will be in the Valley of the Sun on Saturday, March 29th. She will be appearing at a private residence as a fundraiser for “moderate” Representative Giffords. We understanding tickets are selling fast.

Bittner should stick to the issues

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One Monday’s Horizon show Arizona Democratic Party Communications Director Emily Bittner sunk her fangs into Speaker James Weiers. It is a sad fact of the lending business that sometimes it becomes necessary to take action on unpaid obligations. Banks in Arizona have been foreclosing on families and repossessing their homes in order to recover some of the money they loaned on the property. The reality is that from placing a lien to filing for foreclosure, the ability to collect is what allows companies to loan money in the first place. If there was no process for recovering on an unpaid loan the credit markets would dry up and most working Arizona families would not be able to purchase homes. It would be much better for the state if the spokesperson for the Democrats would stick to solutions to the difficult issues facing Arizona instead of using demagoguery to describe lawful commerce.

Update: Dowling vs. Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

The Court of Appeals has issued a decision on the case of Sandra Dowling vs. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. Judge Daniel Barker affirmed but also modified an earlier decision in which Dowling had challenged the Board on their decision to shut down the Pappas Schools.

Read the decision here.

Wishin and Hopin

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Our official Howard Dean theme song.

Chairman Pullen responded to the DNC’s wishful press release that Senator McCain will not do well in the West. As head of the state Republican Party Pullen was right to focus on Arizona. We will take it a step further and make the bold prediction that McCain will not only take Arizona in November but also Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and both Dakotas. I realize the head of the DNC is from Vermont so I have prepared a map of the state in which a liberal Northeaster U.S. Senator has little to no chance. Certainly New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada will be in play but the whole Rocky Mountain West? Dream on! But who are we to tell the Democrats what to do. I hope they poor tons of resources into all of the Rocky Mountain States. Please Chairman Dean make this the year that the Dems win Utah.

Speaking of the Arizona Republican Party check out their cool new web site.

Must have been open bar at Nixon’s

The drinks were really flowing if anyone thinks they are going to get a McCain cabinet like that. AZ Political Intel has the results of the poll. Inside sources indicate a McCain cabinet will look much more like this:

VP – Rob Portman
Sec. of State – Christine Todd Whitman
Sec. of Treasury – Carly Fiorina
Sec. of Defense – Lindsey Graham
AG – Jon Kyl

Governor’s minions lobbied hard to kill CPS reform bill.

     Last week we wrote about several Democrats who voted against one of the CPS reform bills. Thanks to a public records request, Laurie Roberts at the Arizona Republic has details on the efforts by the Governor’s office to kill the bill while voting was taking place. Mike Haener and Susie Barr were sending electronic messages to legislators instructing them to vote against the bill.

NB: Hopefully Channel 12 will have some more video of Governor Napolitano channeling Evan Mecham like she did last Wednesday. Sources indicate that Roberts will have more details on the CPS voting incident in Wednesday’s paper.

Puff interview piece promoting Goddard by Arizona Republic

Funny how Goddard continues to issue booklet after booklet about consumer fraud amidst the billion dollar state budget deficit and the Republic continues to look the other way, even promoting Goddard’s constant self-promotion using consumer fraud (doesn’t that seem a bit weird?). That’s the problem when you have a Democrat in an office that is not supposed to be about spending, like law enforcement. They will always find ways to spend extra money. The Republic chooses to ignore his wasteful spending, because they would like Goddard to become Governor in 2010.

We’ve decided to reproduce the article below, an interview with Goddard on aztalk Live Talk:

1. What are some of the ways the Attorney General’s Office is battling consumer fraud through education?

Check out all the guides, booklets, pamphlets and videos I have published to educate the public. You’ll see that I have produced more than any law enforcement official in the country. And I’ve only been in office since 2003. It’s a pretty impressively long list. My name recognition in Arizona is finally as high as Sheriff Arpaio’s.

2. How many cases of consumer fraud occur in Arizona? How many cases result in arrests and convictions?

I’m not sure because not all of them are prosecuted by my office. Depending on the type of fraud, they may be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the city prosecutors, or the county prosecutors. If you add all those up, the amount my office prosecutes probably looks minuscule. We mostly only prosecute white collar consumer fraud, a small fraction of fraud cases.

3. Moving to other topics, what’s the Attorney General Office’s role, if any, in the employer-sanctions law?

Hopefully none. As a strong Democrat, I have always believed that illegal immigration should be handled by the federal government, not state and local governments. The one time I attempted to get involved and seize the money from wire transfers going to Mexico, the court struck it down as unconstitutional. I’ve learned my lesson. I prefer to follow the lead of Governor Napolitano and avoid prosecuting illegal immigration as much as possible. I’ll sort of talk tough, but do as little as possible – that’s the way to get elected as a Democrat in this state.

4. Are things getting better or worse in terms of crime and crime fighting in Arizona?

A couple of local police agencies have recently released figures showing that crime is finally starting to decrease in Arizona. However, that’s probably because local law enforcement has started arresting and deporting illegal immigrants, which includes a lot of criminals. I don’t think you can fairly say that crime is going down because of that. If you take the illegal immigrant factor out, maybe crime levels are really the same. These law enforcement agencies like to take credit for reducing crime by deporting illegal immigrants, but that’s not really reducing crime.

5. Jerry Nasenbeny of Sun City West asks: I live in a senior community. I understand that the Registrar of Contractors may be of help resolving a dispute between a contractor and a homeowner, but after reading your (Viewpoints) article in the paper, am I to understand that your office will also step in if the dispute is not resolved? I’m in a situation where I feel the contractor is stalling, and I’m close to seeking help. Which route should I go?

Generally I like to refer most complaints to other offices if possible, because that saves our office money, and honestly, since I’ve spent so much money publicizing myself lately (2 more guides within the last month or so), and the state is in the middle of a billion dollar budget deficit, we’re sort of short on resources right now. So for this complaint, I’m going to refer you to the state Registrar of Contractors. Good luck. If that doesn’t work, try the Better Business Bureau, they’re really nice folks. Tell them I sent ya.

SCOTUS Denies Arpaio

The US Supreme Court has denied an appeal by Sheriff Joe Arpaio who has fought transporting female inmates to abortion mills. For several years, Sheriff Arpaio has fought the ACLU in its effort to force Maricopa County taxpayers to pay for transporting inmates to the local abortuary. Today’s rejection of a lower court case now requires the county sheriff to participate in the killing of an unborn baby. This case illustrates the importance of electing a President who will nominate Justices who will protect innocent human life.

For the record.

Napolitano campaign commercial.

I hope that Governor Napolitano does not try to blame the current budget crisis on tax cuts. The record clearly shows that she touted her support for tax cuts when she ran for re-election in 2006. The ad is full of other great lines. Here is another ad from 2006.

Evan Carl Rowan* kept a gun in his house.

     Daniel Scarpinato has an excellent look at the firearms issue as it relates to the CD 8 election. The article correctly portrays the reality that Tim Bee is a stronger supporter of the right to keep and bear arms but Gabrielle Giffords has been careful to not come across as anti gun despite some of her past actions and statements. The difficulty in defeating Giffords is encapsulated in this sentence.

Giffords is also in the early stages of drafting legislation that would require the U.S. Forest Service to set aside federal land for public shooting ranges.

     Giffords has accomplished nothing on the issue but she is working on writing some legislation. How do you peg someone as anti-gun when they are kind of, maybe, trying really hard, definitely thinking about helping on the issue? This is her modus operandi. She is always working on the issue so her opponent can never completely define her as for or against something. She has perfected the method with her approach to a permanent checkpoint along I-19. She is still putting together public forums on the matter.

     Many Republicans say this is the best year to defeat Giffords. With her style it may take a little longer than 22 months for the voting public to catch on to her look busy while doing nothing approach to public service.

     While well written, the article in the Star would have been more interesting if it had added the view of Independent Candidate Derek Tidball of the issue of gun rights.

     *Carl Rowan was an out spoken supporter of gun control who kept a gun in his Washington D.C. home. He used it to shoot a teenager who jumped the wall and was swimming in his pool.